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Drew Gress WOW !!!

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by E_bottom, Apr 25, 2003.

  1. E_bottom

    E_bottom Guest

    Mar 26, 2002
    Finally got my grubby little hands on the new Fred Hersch disc Live at the Village Vanguard with Nasheet Waits and Drew Gress and all I could say about is wow. Can anybody recomend any recordings with Drew that I Should check out to get more fimilar with this monster. Also does anybody know anything about him, where is he from, how longhas he been around, and who has he played with?:eek: This is me blown away
  2. sean p

    sean p

    Mar 7, 2002
    eugene, oregon
    i'm really fond of the dave douglas recordings 'five' and 'convergence' on which dave's joined by drew, mark feldman on violin, erik friedlander on cello, and michael sarin on drums. outstanding ensemble playing and compositions, methinks. mark feldman blows me away.

    sean p
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Drew has been one of my favorite players for a while now. He sounds great on two of my favorite Fred Hersch discs, "Dancing in the Dark", and "The Fred Hersch Trio Plays...", both with Tom Rainey on drums. His solo on "I Fall in Love Too Easily", and Fred's running with his closing motive as a starting point for his own solo is one of my favorite trio moments. Drew also sounds great with Lynne Arriale on two of her early trio discs, "When You Listen", and "Words Unspoken".
  4. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    I'm enjoying Tony Malaby's new one, Apparition with Malaby, Gress and two drummers who actually stay out of each others' way. Great free jazz, and Gress' broken-time is a rolling revelation.

    All to set the mood for tomorrow's concert in Portland with Cameron Brown on bass.
  5. Drew is one of my favorites. You can check him out at this site. It says he's originally from N.J. He spent a number of years in the Baltimore - Washington area, and has been in N.Y. since the early 90's.

    I count about 90 CDs he's played on. I prefer to listen to him in more "conventional" settings, like anything with Fred Hersch, but in particular, "Point In Time", and on Walt Weiskopf's "Night Lights". But it's all good.
  6. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    Amazed no-ones mentioned him with Tim Berne. He plays on at least 2 Berne records, I'm in the library so can't check tthe names but I'm sure some internet research will tell you. Everything I've ever heard by Berne has been amazing, and Gress had him in his 4tet for a while, so well worth checking out.
  7. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    I heard a live set on the radio of ralph Allessi's group with Don Byron that gress was playing some gorgeous bass on, don't know if they've made a record or not.
    And theres an interesting interview on the screwgun records site; www.screwgunrecords.com
  8. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Drew and I had the same teacher in Baltimore for a bit -Walt Namuth (of Buddy Rich Big Band.)

    Drew is a fine bassist. I do however remember a story told to me by Walt that Drew was having "issues" being an electric bassist playing Jazz and felt that he wouldn't be taken seriously if he didn't become an upright player.

    I guess he told me that story because I was going thru the same crisis at that time.
  9. edge83


    Apr 12, 2004
    Astoria New York
    "Heyday" - his record as a leader is one of my all-time favorites. Drew, Ben Monder, Dave Binney and Kenny Wolleson-- and it more than lives up to what you would expect from those guys. He has another called "Spin and Drift" which i don't own but have heard and is also amazing. He's no less impressive as a writer.

    I saw him play twice at the North Sea fest last month and he was incredible.. also very humble and kind. I'm pretty sure that on one of the days, he and the bassist from the previous group (a great player) played the same instrument and the difference in sound was a real lesson..
  10. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    "bump" - been listening to the recent Fred hersch album trio + 2 a lot recently - its brilliant. Drew Gress plays some wonderful stuff on it, the whole band are fantastic, especially Ralph Allessi on trumpet, great compositions, this has to be one of the most exciting "straight-ahead"ish bands in jazz at the moment...
  11. I was just lent a copy of this one. It is fantastic on all counts, but I find myself fixated on the bass. Incredible tone, articulation, intonation, style, ideas. He has always been the one guy who could get ample attack without sacrificing sustain, clarity without twang. What a voice! This guy is one BAAAD mofo. You must have this record. The band is KILLIN, and it is a great collection of tunes. Nasheet Waits, and Tony Malaby make up the rest of the band.

    Can you tell I dig it?
  12. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    Chris Fitzgerald posted a Drew Gress transcription here a few months ago - do a search for it, beautiful stuff!
  13. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    can't find it in a search but would love to see it - any clues?
  14. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Ding!. I love Drew's playing for all of the reasons that T-BONE stated and more. The guy's influenced my direction as a bassist many times, and I've learned a ton from studying what he does. Nice and funny guy to hang with on the few and short occasions I've had the pleasure.
  15. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    I loooove this record. Number one on my hard drive for a couple months now. Gress' musicality and bass-ness is to die for.

    Waits' drumming is stellar, too, IMO. That stuff he does with the high hat in "A Lark" just kills me.
  16. JTGale


    Oct 26, 2004
    Hummelstown, PA
    Thanks for the link to that transcription, Chris. Now to derail a little, how do you get your transcriptions to look like that? :eyebrow: I do my darnedest to write neat, but that looks like a computer compilation. It is beautiful. Is there such a program? I am very interested ...

    {end of derail} :D
  17. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    JT., that "look" is the result of what has become about my favorite software program in the world - It's called "Sibelius", and in my humble opinion, it is to Finale (another program I used for 15 years) what a Custom Benz is to a Yugo. Best money I ever spent. Here's a thread about Sibelius and F***** which includes mybefore and after views.

    BTW, if you think the Drew solo that I linked looks good, go a couple of posts later in that same thread and check out the Fred Hersch transcription. The program is basically turning cartwheels and headstands to notate some of the stuff he's playing, and the end result looks amazing. I would have a difficult time giving this program a higher recommendation.

    [/sibelius talkup]

    You may now all continue to marvel at Drew's fantastic musicianship. :)
  18. JTGale


    Oct 26, 2004
    Hummelstown, PA
    Thanks! Now where is that checkbook ... ? :p
  19. As I mentioned in another thread, I had the pleasure of hearing Drew play with Ravi Coltrane at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago a couple of weeks ago.

    Aside from the beautiful lines and ideas he was playing, what struck me about his playing was the attention he gave to each individual note. Also the great humor and joy in his playing.

    His bass sounded awesome, too. He came out to tune, and just hitting the A filled up the place; and this was before he plugged in. I asked him about it during break, and he told me he wasn't quite sure what it was; an English/French hybrid of some kind.

    I think he was playing the house Polytone, and, unfortunately, it was a little on the gain-y side and clipped a bit. But this took away little from my enjoyment of the performace.
  20. Mike - Do you remember anything else about his gear? Some years ago he was using a common A-T mic, which was mounted using a gooseneck (like you would find on a regular sized mic stand) which was attached to the tailpiece. A bit cumbersome, but sounded great. This was going through an old WW/Bose 802 rig.

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